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    End of year thoughts?

    Hey gang!

    Well, it is nearly upon us in our house - the end of the year. I seriously cannot believe it. Where did this year go? Mentally, I am still on about week 15, it seems like. But my kids are wrapping up subjects every day and telling me they are done so early in the day now. Geesh. I have had years where I have felt on top ‘o the mountain at this point for the really positive year we had, and yet this year I feel like the person who finishes a race and immediately collapses on the ground on the other side of the finish line! And that’s not even counting the years we ended up schooling into the summer - which is it’s own challenge!

    It has gotten me wondering how y’all are faring? Did anyone else survive the year on nearly zero sleep, lots of coffee, daily prayer, and lots of evening wine? Is anyone still “there” and needing a shoulder to lean on? It can be tempting to see those around you finishing (especially away-school folks) and feel a bit restless if you are not quite there yet, or even more so if you feel like you have a long way to go yet.

    But it can also be so helpful to those of us gasping for breath at the end to hear those really positive stories of children (and therefore Moms) who have had really great steps forward over the year - whether academically, or in the management of home life during the school year. How did all you first-timers do? How are you veterans faring?

    Share, share, share!

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
    DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
    DS, 16
    DD, 14
    DD, 12
    DD, 10
    DD, 7.5
    DD, 5.5
    +DS+
    DS, 18 months

    #2
    Re: End of year thoughts?

    We are still finishing up subjects, but there are a few (Latin, math, penmanship) that we will do into the summer. My high schooler still has quite a bit. However, we took off a lot this fall and winter when we had good weather. It gets so hot and humid here in mid-Missouri in the summer, that we end up spending a good deal of time indoors. That's gets crazy without structure fast! So I think it works out ok in the end

    We don't use the full cores, but I have been adding in more and more MP the past couple of years. I finally purchased the upper school lesson plan template so I can make our own MP style lesson plans for each kid. I have quite a few individual ones so it should be pretty easy to copy/paste from those. Our non-MP subjects I will plan out on my own. But what a relief it will be to have them all done and in one place!

    Kelly

    Comment


      #3
      Re: End of year thoughts?

      Howdy Sarah.

      Well, we are with this week and next left in our lesson plans. It feels good to be almost done. But I have to be honest, I guess. It has been a pretty difficult year, and I am not sure how it will pan out next year as a result. Chreia was not fun, and I didn't know how to help my daughter with it. I stopped being able to help her with Latin quite awhile ago, and rely entirely on the teacher key, and try to ask her a ton of questions when she runs into problems. She has a once a week class that helps a bit too. Math was a big challenge as well, she taught herself mostly, and got help from her dad, who was able to teach her- but his schedule makes that difficult in terms of consistency.

      The long and the short is that I am feeling fearful that things will not go well for us with classical education, as we head slowly into the highschool years. If I had had the time to learn alongside her, and didn't have my own executive function struggles to deal with, maybe. I am terrified to discover that I may not have the ability to continue with this program, and have no idea what to do about that. I signed her up for an online class for science for next year, since I know I will not be able to hack that one- but my h is not too happy about that. So we are struggling and praying for answers and guidance. The kids are both really smart and capable- and dd has been doing incredible work almost entirely on her own, but the reality is that she deserves and needs a teacher(s) who can fully offer instruction and guidance in this material. So far I can still help ds. I guess grade 7-8 seems to be my cutoff point. I'm feeling this longing to be able to provide for the kids, what I don't seem able to provide- and it's hurting a lot. So just waiting from answers from on high. I think I can do one more year, and hope in the meantime I win the lottery or discover that my town has a classical Brigadoon or something. (Wait, I don't play the lottery, so that won't work, lol!)

      I hope others are having a good ending. I have to say that we have great satisfaction at being able to put the books away and spend more time outside! The kids have done great work and are feeling that sense of accomplishment and joy at having worked hard and diligently all year, and they deserve this feeling of reward and freedom that is coming. So that is a real bright spot!

      Maria
      DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
      DS 10, using 5M core

      Comment


        #4
        Re: End of year thoughts?

        Originally posted by Girlnumber20 View Post
        Howdy Sarah.

        Well, we are with this week and next left in our lesson plans. It feels good to be almost done. But I have to be honest, I guess. It has been a pretty difficult year, and I am not sure how it will pan out next year as a result. Chreia was not fun, and I didn't know how to help my daughter with it. I stopped being able to help her with Latin quite awhile ago, and rely entirely on the teacher key, and try to ask her a ton of questions when she runs into problems. She has a once a week class that helps a bit too. Math was a big challenge as well, she taught herself mostly, and got help from her dad, who was able to teach her- but his schedule makes that difficult in terms of consistency.

        The long and the short is that I am feeling fearful that things will not go well for us with classical education, as we head slowly into the highschool years. If I had had the time to learn alongside her, and didn't have my own executive function struggles to deal with, maybe. I am terrified to discover that I may not have the ability to continue with this program, and have no idea what to do about that. I signed her up for an online class for science for next year, since I know I will not be able to hack that one- but my h is not too happy about that. So we are struggling and praying for answers and guidance. The kids are both really smart and capable- and dd has been doing incredible work almost entirely on her own, but the reality is that she deserves and needs a teacher(s) who can fully offer instruction and guidance in this material. So far I can still help ds. I guess grade 7-8 seems to be my cutoff point. I'm feeling this longing to be able to provide for the kids, what I don't seem able to provide- and it's hurting a lot. So just waiting from answers from on high. I think I can do one more year, and hope in the meantime I win the lottery or discover that my town has a classical Brigadoon or something. (Wait, I don't play the lottery, so that won't work, lol!)

        I hope others are having a good ending. I have to say that we have great satisfaction at being able to put the books away and spend more time outside! The kids have done great work and are feeling that sense of accomplishment and joy at having worked hard and diligently all year, and they deserve this feeling of reward and freedom that is coming. So that is a real bright spot!

        Maria
        Maria,
        I really want to encourage you that you are not alone in adjusting to a new phase as your children get older! In many, many ways I feel a lot like a "high school-hack" because of how we manage on a wing and a prayer!

        There is always going to be a balance between what is "ideal" and what is "possible" all throughout this homeschooling journey. In my mind, I have the ideal of what our high school years *would* look like if I had the time and the ability. But then I have to pull myself down from that and plant my feet back on the ground of our reality. Even though my reality is different from your reality, the truth is the same: you figure out a way to do the best that you can. However close that comes to "ideal," is what I have learned to be content with.

        What I look at first is that I prefer homeschooling over other options. Then I look at what outside help I can afford and balance that with what my kids enjoy doing. Turns out I have one older child who really likes online classes (recorded - cheaper!) and one who really does not. Then I look at what is left that *I* really need to help with, which is different for each child. Then I leave the rest for them to pursue independently, with me just checking in on them.

        Would I prefer having a lot of guidance for them in all of their key subjects? Absolutely. Would I prefer having our homeschool more closely resemble how HLS does their classes? Definitely. But since that is not actually possible in my family, I praise God that my kids DO learn independently very well. That does not need to be seen as a negative. I look at it as that they will be very well prepared for the responsibility they will need to show in college - where they will get the benefit of live, scholarly instruction but will still be expected to work independently a great deal.

        I also try to take advantage of non-school times a lot to discuss with them whatever they have been learning. They have been very good to bring up things they find interesting, and it leads to a great discussion, often including children who are not studying the exact same things but are intrigued by the discussion. They bring whatever they have each been learning, and we all end up having a great time. This is been a worthy substitute for us, anyway.

        I personally feel that my experience is like the bare minimum...most parents are going to be able to give each individual child more than I can give mine. And if it doesn't bother me...

        So there you go - I am gunna bet you are doing better than I am!!!

        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
        DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
        DS, 16
        DD, 14
        DD, 12
        DD, 10
        DD, 7.5
        DD, 5.5
        +DS+
        DS, 18 months

        Comment


          #5
          Re: End of year thoughts?

          I'll share, since it's probably pretty obvious that I have been having a fantastic school year (given the amount of time I seem to have to post on the forums these days).

          Drum roll, please... we are just weeks away from completing the best SY I have executed in 14 years (I have homeschooled for 15 years). Yep, truth. There are several factors that made this possible.

          - Having spent 3 years to get here, my son was finally squarely settled solidly into a MP core (5M). Yes, it did take 3 years of slowly maneuvering, then trusting the MP process (without subbing in all my "special" twists) into the process to get here. As others have put it, an MP core contains the balance of "just enough" in every subject which just WORKS.

          - After the second year in the MP elementary sequence, we were seeing so much fruit from overlap and mastery. The sheer "organic-ness" of using MP subjects from level to level, subject to subject, created a feeling of harmony, reinforcement, and mastery. This is similar to the above, but not *quite*. I loved how Geography I complimented FMoR, which complimented CS II, etc. This is the type of value add that is impossible to list in a catalog description of an MP core, kwim?

          - I was teaching 5th grade, arguably one of the easiest elementary years to teach. The kid can read, write, and knows multiplication facts. The groundwork is laid, the fun begins, and the stress of middle school is still safely in the future (also, bonus, this is my 4th time through the 5th grade, ha, ha).

          - I made an executive decision to use Book Shark's American history package rather than MP's American history readers plus the 5th grade Read Aloud package, and it was an AWESOME choice. Now, living in VA, I took the time to drag Baby all over the state on Am history field trips: Jamestown in Oct, Colonial W'bg in Feb, Yorktown in April, Mount Vernon in May (Revolutionary War re-enactment weekend). The memories we made, the reinforcement he had... ah, just like a homeschool picture postcard.

          - We still attended a co-op (see "5th grade" above), which was a nice balance for us. This was just a "perfect year" for me. I literally looked forward every Sunday afternoon to Monday morning. Like that usually happens?!!!?




          That said, I anticipate next year to be somewhat similar, although we are switching co-ops for a group with older kids. I feel that 6M will also build on our current successes. I can save my worry and anxieties for one more year, when 7th grade will rear its middle school head. For the time being, I can put my feet up and enjoy the ride. Having homeschooled every grade, from pK- high school, I can honestly say that everyone with a 4th -6th grader really should sit back and enjoy the sweet spot of homeschooling.



          Jen
          DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

          DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

          DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

          DS, 11 yrs, 6M: complete!

          All homeschooled.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: End of year thoughts?

            With a toddler, a layoff, a home sale, a cross-country move, no husband around (until last week) and lots of special-needs meltdowns, we just got started with MPK & MP2 about four weeks ago. We are doing almost everything in the MP2 manual, verbatim, because in so many years past I just could not get to most of the enrichment (read: thorough Bible study, music study, extra read alouds, Patterns of Nature, crafts). My philosophy this year is, “I don’t care how long it takes, we’re DOING IT.” So if our school year takes 18 months? Whatever. We are just going to keep going (with breaks and field trips sprinkled in) until we reach a good stopping place. Who knows when or where that will be.

            We started Prima Latina this year, so that may slow us down a little. I’m also “behind” on literature because I’m still finishing up More Storytime Treasures with my older son — while letting my older daughter read at her grade level from good books — until he’s ready to dive into MP2 selections. That way, they can work together; at least that’s the plan.

            My younger son is doing really well in MPK. I’m really glad I waited a year to start Kindergarten with him (for those of you reading along with a squirmy five-year-old, who want to start K but know it will bomb miserably: wait a few months!). He will be 6 in a month, but definitely could not have been the rock star he is now if I had pushed him into K a year ago (so that is great consolation).

            My eventual goal is to get on the HLS Labor-Day-to-Memorial-Day schedule. But with Life happening (so danged often!) that just hasn’t materialized yet. My husband also just informed me that he bought us season passes to two museums in Denver, the Denver zoo and our local recreation center. He’s also planning on tailgating with old Air Force Academy buddies this Fall at Air Force Falcons football games. So... (shrug). It’ll get done when it gets done, I suppose. We are putting in the work every week day (barring appointments and unforeseen events). So all in all, I intuit that we are right where God wants us to be.
            Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
            Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
            Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
            Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

            “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
            ~Pope St John Paul II

            Comment


              #7
              Re: End of year thoughts?

              Our end of the year was rather unconventional and I don't feel like we finished strong in certain content subjects, but knowing what I know about MP, I am not worried at all about moving into 4th and 6th grades. I had a hard deadline to close up the books before we start driving cross-country again and even though there were boxes that I wanted to check but couldn't, my kids did finish all of the reading in each subject. I am thankful for MPOA because I know that my son had a strong finish for 2nd Form at least, which was the most important thing that I wanted to accomplish academically. I'm thankful for Delectare, which was a great way to enrich literature studies in our homeschool.

              I am thankful for homeschooling because it allowed us to pack up all of our books in April and do our last 6-weeks of school with DH while he was in training before we move cross-country again. The alternative would have been me staying in our house and managing the packout by myself with four kids (no way!!). It is hard to school, though, when not at home-home and the distractions of being in a weird rental situation were felt by everyone. Did you know that if you live close enough to the beach, you can actually hear it calling out to you on nice days even if you have work to do?? It's true.

              Anyway, I enjoy these types of threads and hearing about everyone's schools, so thanks for asking, Sarah!
              Jodi
              ~~~~~~~
              2019-20 School Year:
              Ethan (7A)
              Matthew (5A)
              Silas (1st)
              Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
              Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: End of year thoughts?

                Originally posted by JodiSue View Post
                Our end of the year was rather unconventional and I don't feel like we finished strong in certain content subjects, but knowing what I know about MP, I am not worried at all about moving into 4th and 6th grades. I had a hard deadline to close up the books before we start driving cross-country again and even though there were boxes that I wanted to check but couldn't, my kids did finish all of the reading in each subject. I am thankful for MPOA because I know that my son had a strong finish for 2nd Form at least, which was the most important thing that I wanted to accomplish academically. I'm thankful for Delectare, which was a great way to enrich literature studies in our homeschool.

                I am thankful for homeschooling because it allowed us to pack up all of our books in April and do our last 6-weeks of school with DH while he was in training before we move cross-country again. The alternative would have been me staying in our house and managing the packout by myself with four kids (no way!!). It is hard to school, though, when not at home-home and the distractions of being in a weird rental situation were felt by everyone. Did you know that if you live close enough to the beach, you can actually hear it calling out to you on nice days even if you have work to do?? It's true.

                Anyway, I enjoy these types of threads and hearing about everyone's schools, so thanks for asking, Sarah!
                Try 65-degree days with no humidity in late May; a perfect breeze and a crystal clear view of the Rockies off your front porch. It’s torture. It’s 90 degrees with 80% humidity back East and no escape. It’s still down in the 40’s here overnight. Shorts during the day, sweatshirt by dinner. I’m eventually going to die of happiness.
                Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                ~Pope St John Paul II

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: End of year thoughts?

                  Originally posted by Anita View Post
                  Try 65-degree days with no humidity in late May; a perfect breeze and a crystal clear view of the Rockies off your front porch. It’s torture. It’s 90 degrees with 80% humidity back East and no escape. It’s still down in the 40’s here overnight. Shorts during the day, sweatshirt by dinner. I’m eventually going to die of happiness.
                  Your hubby is the one who is into math/cryptography/computer science-y stuff, right? My DH is up to retire from the military in a couple years and will need a job that's along those lines. And now I'm thinking he needs a job wherever this stuff is. If you're going to SG, we need to chat for a bit.
                  Jodi
                  ~~~~~~~
                  2019-20 School Year:
                  Ethan (7A)
                  Matthew (5A)
                  Silas (1st)
                  Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
                  Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: End of year thoughts?

                    Originally posted by JodiSue View Post
                    Your hubby is the one who is into math/cryptography/computer science-y stuff, right? My DH is up to retire from the military in a couple years and will need a job that's along those lines. And now I'm thinking he needs a job wherever this stuff is. If you're going to SG, we need to chat for a bit.
                    Short conversation: West Everything in that sector is basically West of the Mississippi. We looked and looked and looked for data engineering jobs on the East Coast. It was horrible. There were very few jobs and the ones that were offered were in places like NYC, where a family of 6 would basically fall apart. The majority of the jobs in data engineering are in the Denver, CO, area and in California.

                    ETA: Even with the opportunity, though, the pay was a $30k hit to our salary plus a higher cost of living. (The house we owned in VA would have been far out of our price range here in CO, for example.) But a job’s a job and we are thankful to have a good one. The firm Hubs got on with also pays bonuses for client work (sort of like working on a base salary plus commission) so we won’t starve. It’ll just be tight for the first year or two. (Sorry to burst your bubble.)

                    There is also a hiring cap on white male data engineers for the foreseeable future. I don’t remember who this directive came from, but it’s not a rumor — totally standard operating procedure in HR at large corporate firms. Hubs applied for two jobs at Amazon last Fall and was passed over, even though he was far more qualified than even the people who were interviewing him. Hiring quotas in engineering are The Thing now as more women and minorities are welcomed in to STEM. While diversity in the STEM workplace is certainly a positive, forcing firms to hire 80% of their workforce from 20% of their applicants is probably not going to end well.
                    Last edited by Anita; 05-23-2018, 12:38 PM.
                    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                    ~Pope St John Paul II

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: End of year thoughts?

                      My dh just had to do a trip to the Sacramento area...(first time in CA) and he said the same....G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. Seriously tempting...

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                      DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                      DS, 16
                      DD, 14
                      DD, 12
                      DD, 10
                      DD, 7.5
                      DD, 5.5
                      +DS+
                      DS, 18 months

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: End of year thoughts?

                        Originally posted by Anita View Post
                        Try 65-degree days with no humidity in late May; a perfect breeze and a crystal clear view of the Rockies off your front porch. It’s torture. It’s 90 degrees with 80% humidity back East and no escape. It’s still down in the 40’s here overnight. Shorts during the day, sweatshirt by dinner. I’m eventually going to die of happiness.
                        Originally posted by JodiSue View Post
                        Your hubby is the one who is into math/cryptography/computer science-y stuff, right? My DH is up to retire from the military in a couple years and will need a job that's along those lines. And now I'm thinking he needs a job wherever this stuff is. If you're going to SG, we need to chat for a bit.
                        Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
                        My dh just had to do a trip to the Sacramento area...(first time in CA) and he said the same....G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. Seriously tempting...

                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        I have only a minute, but I need to address this before it gets out of hand.

                        Jodi, You are coming here to Kentucky. We discussed this last summer. Tanya will find your husband a job teaching at HLS. The real estate is very reasonable. We have four seasons and blue grass!

                        Anita and Sarah, Please stop ‘wooing’ Jodi with your promises of lovely weather.

                        Joyfully, Courtney
                        DS13, DS12, DS10, DD8

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: End of year thoughts?

                          We/I do want to move to Louisville! But of course the money/job issue looms large.

                          I am not tempted by California because I have lived there. It is beautiful, but expensive and the state government/politics are so dysfunctional. That might seem like a silly reason not to move somewhere, but a lot of businesses are leaving the state, etc., etc.

                          I do have a soft spot for Colorado, though. So beautiful. But also expensive in some parts.

                          Sorry to hijack your thread, Sarah!!
                          Jodi
                          ~~~~~~~
                          2019-20 School Year:
                          Ethan (7A)
                          Matthew (5A)
                          Silas (1st)
                          Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
                          Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: End of year thoughts?

                            Jodi,

                            Come to Louisville!!!!

                            Tanya

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: End of year thoughts?

                              No apologies necessary!

                              <3
                              AMDG,
                              Sarah
                              2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                              DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                              DS, 16
                              DD, 14
                              DD, 12
                              DD, 10
                              DD, 7.5
                              DD, 5.5
                              +DS+
                              DS, 18 months

                              Comment

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